I’ve said it before, Epcot is a mecca for fantastic festivals! Host to 4 different events during the year, each one offers unique experiences for guests. Once the end of August (August 30th to be exact) hits, guests know that it’s time for the one and only, International Food and Wine Festival. Dating back to 1995, this festival has only grown by offering guests new drinks, meals and experiences to enjoy. Last September, I was lucky enough to attend the Food & Wine Festival.
Just as I mentioned in my post about the Flower & Garden Festival, at the Food & Wine Festival, you can pick up a passport which will help you keep track of all of the delicious food and drinks at the festival that you have tried. Also, just like at Flower & Garden, you can pick up a gift card on a wrist chain. On here you can load as much money as you like and use that to pay for your treats at the various food booths. It just makes the experience so much easier so you don’t have to keep going in your wallet to pay.
This year, there will be over 35 booths set up during Food & Wine Festival around the World Showcase. Last year, my family and I journeyed around the World Showcase to try some delicious items. Please keep in mind some of the items below will be available again this year and some may not be. Check your Food and Wine passport or each individual booth menu for more information. Here are the dishes we tried……..
My first stop didn’t happen the way I was expecting it. I stopped by the Hawaii booth to try the Mai Tai. After I ordered and paid for it, I found out that the machine was broken. A lot of people were ordering that so there was a bit of confusion happening. Since nothing else on the menu equaled the same price, I asked for 2 of the Maui Brewing Company Bikini Blonde Lagers instead. Even though this wasn’t what I wanted, the beer was really good and smooth! If anyone stops by the Hawaii booth this year and tries the Mai Tai, let me know how it tastes!
The Almond Orchard
Located to the right when entering the World Showcase, the Almond Orchard booth is hosted by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze (you know the Almond Milk brand). All of the items at this stand are made with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Milk. My mom tried the Fire Roasted Tomato Hummus which came with almonds on top and a Blue Diamond cracker on the side. She really enjoyed this dish and thought it was the perfect start to the festival.
Next up was the Canada Pavilion and their food booth. Their Food & Wine stand features items that are usually available at their Signature Restaurant, Le Cellier. This is a great way to get a feel for the food, especially since the restaurant is worth 2 table credits. They offered a Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup and a Filet Mignon dish. I tried the Filet (plain) and I must say, it was delicious and melted in my mouth. I highly recommend giving this a try.
As we walked around the World Showcase, another stand caught our eye, Belgium. I am sure you can guess what this stand had, Belgium Waffles of course! In addition, to two different types of Belgium Waffles, they also had a savory dish. The waffle options included chocolate topping and strawberry topping. I tried the waffle with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. It was so good! Probably one of the best Belgium Waffles I’ve had. If your looking for a sweet treat, try this!
Our food journey continued and we headed to Italy. Now as someone who eats Italian food pretty regularly, I had to make a stop here. This booth featured dishes that you’d expect. Popular Italian dishes such as Penne Vodka, Cannoli’s, Chicken Cacciatore and my favorite, Fried Calamari, were the featured items. I had the Fried Calamari and of course, knew this wouldn’t be Fried Calamari like at home, but I must say, it wasn’t bad. It was pretty good actually! I would have had more of it. It was a bit salty for my taste, but nothing terrible. I would give it a try! (Another option is to try the restaurant in Italy, Tutto Italia, which also has Fried Calamari, and it was amazing!)
Located towards the left of the World Showcase was the Farm Fresh booth. I can’t find anywhere online if this booth is still in the festival this year, but Farm Fresh featured local Florida items. My dad had the Crispy Chicken with Cornbread and Gravy. He really enjoyed it and said it was delicious! At this booth, I tried the Florida Orange Groves Mango Mama Wine. It was a sweet wine, but it was good. I always enjoy trying local or unique items. Unfortunately, I don’t think the booth is around this year but there are still plenty of other delicious foods to try.
I only visited 6 of the booths that were there, but there are plenty more to discover. Here are pictures of some of the booths available last year (2017) during Food & Wine Festival. I tried to keep these in order of the World Showcase as if you were entering on the Canada side.
Eat to the Beat
Another fun experience available during the Food and Wine Festival is the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. Located at the America Gardens Theater, in front of the USA pavilion, this experience allows guests to see top bands perform while they walk around the World Showcase on select nights during the week. The experience was really cool when I visited last year. We were able to see Air Supply perform some of their top hits right in the middle of Walt Disney World. You don’t have to stop and sit either. There is standing room in the back of the theater that you can hang out at and just listen for a few minutes. Highly recommend you stop by!
As always, I need to make mention to the photo pass photographers. Just like any other day, photo pass photographers are set up at EPCOT to take photos. But, during the festival, there are fun magic shots, festival specific frames and other cool photo add-on’s that are definitely worth a stop! Just don’t forget to say “Cheese!”
Located in Future World East (the side where Mission Space is located), is the Food & Wine Festival Center. Here you can shop exclusive festival merchandise (that is also available at specific locations around the park), get your Food & Wine Passport, see cooking demonstrations and much, much more. It is a quiet spot that is fun to go check out.
What are you looking forward to most at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival? Let me know in the comments below!
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